‘Handshake’ executive is Luther commencement speaker

Christine Cruzvergara, chief education strategy officer at Handshake, a networking and job search tool available to students and alumni, will give the 2024 commencement address at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 19, at Luther College’s Carlson Stadium.

Cruzvergara leads Handshake’s partnerships with the higher education community, which includes more than 15 million students from more than 1,500 higher institutions, to connect students with career and internship opportunities.

Cruzvergara is recognized as an agent of change and an expert on strategies that create equitable student career success outcomes. Handshake, based in San Francisco with offices across the U.S. and the globe, connects students enrolled in four-year institutions, community colleges and bootcamps with more than 900,000 employers. Employers on the site include Fortune 500 Companies, public school districts, healthcare systems and nonprofit organizations.

“I met Christine at the Midwest Roundtable on Talent,” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “I knew I wanted to bring her to Luther — not only because we use Handshake in our Career Center, but because she is an engaging speaker who shows how career aspirations start with self-knowledge, sense of purpose, laying groundwork, and the creative use of networks, from family to friends to more traditional influencers.”

Handshake aims to accelerate students’ careers and democratize access to opportunities. Because of her work, Cruzvergara is regularly referenced in media, such as the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Forbes Magazine, Fortune and Inside Higher Education.

Prior to joining Handshake, Cruzvergara was the associate provost for career education at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she received the 2017 Career Services Excellence Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the 2017 Innovation Award from Eduventures.

She has also held senior level positions and board roles at George Mason University, Georgetown University, The George Washington University, NACE and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

No tickets are required for the outdoor commencement ceremony. The event will be livestreamed. More information is available at commencement.luther.edu.

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